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1.
CMAJ ; 193(49): E1868-E1877, 2021 12 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591952

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected health care workers. We sought to estimate SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence among hospital health care workers in Quebec, Canada, after the first wave of the pandemic and to explore factors associated with SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity. METHODS: Between July 6 and Sept. 24, 2020, we enrolled health care workers from 10 hospitals, including 8 from a region with a high incidence of COVID-19 (the Montréal area) and 2 from low-incidence regions of Quebec. Eligible health care workers were physicians, nurses, orderlies and cleaning staff working in 4 types of care units (emergency department, intensive care unit, COVID-19 inpatient unit and non-COVID-19 inpatient unit). Participants completed a questionnaire and underwent SARS-CoV-2 serology testing. We identified factors independently associated with higher seroprevalence. RESULTS: Among 2056 enrolled health care workers, 241 (11.7%) had positive SARS-CoV-2 serology. Of these, 171 (71.0%) had been previously diagnosed with COVID-19. Seroprevalence varied among hospitals, from 2.4% to 3.7% in low-incidence regions to 17.9% to 32.0% in hospitals with outbreaks involving 5 or more health care workers. Higher seroprevalence was associated with working in a hospital where outbreaks occurred (adjusted prevalence ratio 4.16, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.63-6.57), being a nurse or nursing assistant (adjusted prevalence ratio 1.34, 95% CI 1.03-1.74) or an orderly (adjusted prevalence ratio 1.49, 95% CI 1.12-1.97), and Black or Hispanic ethnicity (adjusted prevalence ratio 1.41, 95% CI 1.13-1.76). Lower seroprevalence was associated with working in the intensive care unit (adjusted prevalence ratio 0.47, 95% CI 0.30-0.71) or the emergency department (adjusted prevalence ratio 0.61, 95% CI 0.39-0.98). INTERPRETATION: Health care workers in Quebec hospitals were at high risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection, particularly in outbreak settings. More work is needed to better understand SARS-CoV-2 transmission dynamics in health care settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Occupational Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/etiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Demography , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Incidence , Occupational Diseases/blood , Occupational Diseases/etiology , Pandemics , Quebec/epidemiology , Risk Factors , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires
2.
CMAJ Open ; 9(4): E1232-E1241, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591622

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Limited space and resources are potential obstacles to infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures in in-centre hemodialysis units. We aimed to assess IPAC measures implemented in Quebec's hemodialysis units during the spring of 2020, describe the characteristics of these units and document the cumulative infection rates during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: For this cross-sectional survey, we invited leaders from 54 hemodialysis units in Quebec to report information on the physical characteristics of the unit and their perceptions of crowdedness, which IPAC measures were implemented from Mar. 1 to June 30, 2020, and adherence to and feasibility of appropriate IPAC measures. Participating units were contacted again in March 2021 to collect information on the number of COVID-19 cases in order to derive the cumulative infection rate of each unit. RESULTS: Data were obtained from 38 of the 54 units contacted (70% response rate), which provided care to 4485 patients at the time of survey completion. Fourteen units (37%) had implemented appropriate IPAC measures by 3 weeks after Mar. 1, and all 38 units had implemented them by 6 weeks after. One-third of units were perceived as crowded. General measures, masks and screening questionnaires were used in more than 80% of units, and various distancing measures in 55%-71%; reduction in dialysis frequency was rare. Data on cumulative infection rates were obtained from 27 units providing care to 4227 patients. The cumulative infection rate varied from 0% to 50% (median 11.3%, interquartile range 5.2%-20.2%) and was higher than the reported cumulative infection rate in the corresponding region in 23 (85%) of the 27 units. INTERPRETATION: Rates of COVID-19 infection among hemodialysis recipients in Quebec were elevated compared to the general population during the first year of the pandemic, and although hemodialysis units throughout the province implemented appropriate IPAC measures rapidly in the spring of 2020, many units were crowded and could not maintain physical distancing. Future hemodialysis units should be designed to minimize airborne and droplet transmission of infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control , Infection Control , Renal Dialysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/statistics & numerical data , Quebec/epidemiology , Renal Dialysis/adverse effects , Renal Dialysis/methods , Surveys and Questionnaires
3.
Int J Obes (Lond) ; 45(12): 2617-2622, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526061

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of obesity on outcomes in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is not well understood and remains controversial. Recent studies suggest that obesity might be associated with higher morbidity and mortality in respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 disease). Our objective was to evaluate the association between obesity and hospital mortality in critical COVID-19 patients. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in a tertiary academic center located in Montréal between March and August 2020. We included all consecutive adult patients admitted to the ICU for COVID-19-confirmed respiratory disease. Our main outcome was hospital mortality. We estimated the association between obesity, using the body mass index as a continuous variable, and hospital survival by fitting a multivariable Cox proportional hazards model. RESULTS: We included 94 patients. Median [q1, q3] body mass index (BMI) was 29 [26-32] kg/m2 and 37% of patients were obese (defined as BMI > 30 kg/m2). Hospital mortality for the entire cohort was 33%. BMI was significantly associated with hospital mortality (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.49 per 10 units BMI; 95% CI, from 1.69 to 3.70; p < 0.001) even after adjustment for sex, age and obesity-related comorbidities (adjusted HR = 3.50; 95% CI from 2.03 to 6.02; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Obesity was prevalent in hospitalized patients with critical illness secondary to COVID-19 disease and a higher BMI was associated with higher hospital mortality. Further studies are needed to validate this association and to better understand its underlying mechanisms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospital Mortality , Obesity/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Body Mass Index , Comorbidity , Critical Illness , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Quebec , Retrospective Studies , Survival Analysis
4.
J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg ; 50(1): 65, 2021 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523331

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply impacted healthcare and education systems, including resident education. The impact of the pandemic on the different types of pedagogical activities, and the displacement of pedagogical activities to online modalities have not yet been quantified. We sought to evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on formal pedagogic components of otorhinolaryngology-head and neck surgery (ORL-HNS) residency, the switch to distance learning and program director's perceptions of the future of teaching and learning. METHODS: A nationwide online survey was conducted on Canadian ORL-HNS program directors. The use of standard didactic activities in-person and online, before and during the pandemic was rated with Likert scales. Perceptions of the pandemic were described with open-ended questions. RESULTS: A total of 11 of the 13 program directors contacted responded. The analysis were conducted using nonparametric statistics. There was a significant drop in overall didactic activities during the pandemic, regardless of the teaching format (3.5 ± 0.2 to 3.1 ± 0.3, p < 0.05). The most affected activities were simulation and in-house lectures. Online activities increased dramatically (0.5 ± 0.2 to 5.0 ± 0.5, p < 0.001), including attendance to lectures made by other programs (0.5 ± 0.3 to 4.0 ± 0.8, p < 0.05). Respondents stated their intention to maintain the hybrid online and in-person teaching model. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that hybrid online and in-person teaching is likely to persist in the post-pandemic setting. A balanced residency curriculum requires diversity in academic activities. The pandemic can have positive consequences if higher education institutions work to better support distance teaching and learning.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Curriculum , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Education, Distance/methods , Education, Medical, Graduate/methods , Internship and Residency/methods , Otolaryngology/education , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/transmission , Canada , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Quebec/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
5.
Open Heart ; 8(2)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518151

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of cardiac abnormalities and their relationship to markers of myocardial injury and mortality in patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19. METHODS: A retrospective and prospective observational study of inpatients referred for transthoracic echocardiography for suspected cardiac pathology due to COVID-19 within a London NHS Trust. Echocardiograms were performed to assess left ventricular (LV), right ventricular (RV) and pulmonary variables along with collection of patient demographics, comorbid conditions, blood biomarkers and outcomes. RESULT: In the predominant non-white (72%) population, RV dysfunction was the primary cardiac abnormality noted in 50% of patients, with RV fractional area change <35% being the most common marker of this RV dysfunction. By comparison, LV systolic dysfunction occurred in 18% of patients. RV dysfunction was associated with LV systolic dysfunction and the presence of a D-shaped LV throughout the cardiac cycle (marker of significant pulmonary artery hypertension). LV systolic dysfunction (p=0.002, HR 3.82, 95% CI 1.624 to 8.982), pulmonary valve acceleration time (p=0.024, HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.964 to 0.997)-marker of increased pulmonary vascular resistance, age (p=0.047, HR 1.027, 95% CI 1.000 to 1.055) and an episode of tachycardia measured from admission to time of echo (p=0.004, HR 6.183, 95% CI 1.772 to 21.575) were independently associated with mortality. CONCLUSIONS: In this predominantly non-white population hospitalised with COVID-19, the most common cardiac pathology was RV dysfunction which is associated with both LV systolic dysfunction and elevated pulmonary artery pressure. The latter two, not RV dysfunction, were associated with mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/ethnology , Heart Diseases/ethnology , Heart Ventricles/diagnostic imaging , Population Surveillance , Comorbidity , Cross-Sectional Studies , Echocardiography, Doppler , Heart Diseases/diagnosis , Hospitalization/trends , Humans , Pandemics , Prevalence , Quebec/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , Survival Rate/trends
6.
Genome Med ; 13(1): 169, 2021 10 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496206

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Québec was the Canadian province most impacted by COVID-19, with 401,462 cases as of September 24th, 2021, and 11,347 deaths due mostly to a very severe first pandemic wave. In April 2020, we assembled the Coronavirus Sequencing in Québec (CoVSeQ) consortium to sequence SARS-CoV-2 genomes in Québec to track viral introduction events and transmission within the province. METHODS: Using genomic epidemiology, we investigated the arrival of SARS-CoV-2 to Québec. We report 2921 high-quality SARS-CoV-2 genomes in the context of > 12,000 publicly available genomes sampled globally over the first pandemic wave (up to June 1st, 2020). By combining phylogenetic and phylodynamic analyses with epidemiological data, we quantify the number of introduction events into Québec, identify their origins, and characterize the spatiotemporal spread of the virus. RESULTS: Conservatively, we estimated approximately 600 independent introduction events, the majority of which happened from spring break until 2 weeks after the Canadian border closed for non-essential travel. Subsequent mass repatriations did not generate large transmission lineages (> 50 sequenced cases), likely due to mandatory quarantine measures in place at the time. Consistent with common spring break and "snowbird" destinations, most of the introductions were inferred to have originated from Europe via the Americas. Once introduced into Québec, viral lineage sizes were overdispersed, with a few lineages giving rise to most infections. Consistent with founder effects, the earliest lineages to arrive tended to spread most successfully. Fewer than 100 viral introductions arrived during spring break, of which 7-12 led to the largest transmission lineages of the first wave (accounting for 52-75% of all sequenced infections). These successful transmission lineages dispersed widely across the province. Transmission lineage size was greatly reduced after March 11th, when a quarantine order for returning travellers was enacted. While this suggests the effectiveness of early public health measures, the biggest transmission lineages had already been ignited prior to this order. CONCLUSIONS: Combined, our results reinforce how, in the absence of tight travel restrictions or quarantine measures, fewer than 100 viral introductions in a week can ensure the establishment of extended transmission chains.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Canada/epidemiology , Europe/epidemiology , Genome, Viral , Humans , Molecular Epidemiology , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Public Health , Quebec/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Travel
7.
Can J Public Health ; 112(5): 807-817, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1478763

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Quebec Public Health Institute (INSPQ) was mandated to develop an automated tool for detecting space-time COVID-19 case clusters to assist regional public health authorities in identifying situations that require public health interventions. This article aims to describe the methodology used and to document the main outcomes achieved. METHODS: New COVID-19 cases are supplied by the "Trajectoire de santé publique" information system, geolocated to civic addresses and then aggregated by day and dissemination area. To target community-level clusters, cases identified as residents of congregate living settings are excluded from the cluster detection analysis. Detection is performed using the space-time scan statistic and Poisson statistical model, and implemented in the SaTScan software. Information on detected clusters is disseminated daily via an online interactive mapping interface. RESULTS: The number of clusters detected tracked with the number of new cases. Slightly more than 4900 statistically significant (p ≤ 0.01) space-time clusters were detected over 14 health regions from May to October 2020. The Montréal region was the most affected. CONCLUSION: Considering the objective of timely cluster detection, the use of near-real-time health surveillance data of varying quality over time and by region constitutes an acceptable compromise between timeliness and data quality. This tool serves to supplement the epidemiologic investigations carried out by regional public health authorities for purposes of COVID-19 management and prevention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Quebec/epidemiology
8.
BMC Fam Pract ; 22(1): 192, 2021 09 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438257

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has driven primary healthcare (PHC) providers to use telehealth as an alternative to traditional face-to-face consultations. Providing telehealth that meets the needs of patients in a pandemic has presented many challenges for PHC providers. The aim of this study was to describe the positive and negative implications of using telehealth in one Canadian (Quebec) and one American (Massachusetts) PHC setting during the COVID-19 pandemic as reported by physicians. METHODS: We conducted 42 individual semi-structured video interviews with physicians in Quebec (N = 20) and Massachusetts (N = 22) in 2020. Topics covered included their practice history, changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the advantages and challenges of telehealth. An inductive and deductive thematic analysis was carried out to identify implications of delivering care via telehealth. RESULTS: Four key themes were identified, each with positive and negative implications: 1) access for patients; 2) efficiency of care delivery; 3) professional impacts; and 4) relational dimensions of care. For patients' access, positive implications referred to increased availability of services; negative implications involved barriers due to difficulties with access to and use of technologies. Positive implications for efficiency were related to improved follow-up care; negative implications involved difficulties in diagnosing in the absence of direct physical examination and non-verbal cues. For professional impacts, positive implications were related to flexibility (teleworking, more availability for patients) and reimbursement, while negative implications were related to technological limitations experienced by both patients and practitioners. For relational dimensions, positive implications included improved communication, as patients were more at ease at home, and the possibility of gathering information from what could be seen of the patient's environment; negative implications were related to concerns around maintaining the therapeutic relationship and changes in patients' engagement and expectations. CONCLUSION: Ensuring that health services provision meets patients' needs at all times calls for flexibility in care delivery modalities, role shifting to adapt to virtual care, sustained relationships with patients, and interprofessional collaboration. To succeed, these efforts require guidelines and training, as well as careful attention to technological barriers and interpersonal relationship needs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Physicians, Primary Care , Telemedicine , Canada , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , Quebec , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Healthc Policy ; 17(1): 73-90, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1431156

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: This study documents the adoption of telehealth by various types of primary healthcare (PHC) providers working in teaching PHC clinics in Quebec during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also identifies the perceived advantages and disadvantages of telehealth. METHOD: A cross-sectional study was conducted between May and August 2020. The e-survey was completed by 48/50 teaching primary care clinics representing 603/1,357 (44%) PHC providers. RESULTS: Telephone use increased the most, becoming the principal virtual modality of consultation, during the pandemic. Video consultations increased, with variations by type of PHC provider: between 2% and 16% reported using it "sometimes." The main perceived advantages of telehealth were minimizing the patient's need to travel, improved efficiency and reduction in infection transmission risk. The main disadvantages were the lack of physical exam and difficulties connecting with some patients. CONCLUSION: The variation in telehealth adoption by type of PHC provider may inform strategies to maximize the potential of telehealth and help create guidelines for its use in more normal times.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/therapy , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Patient Acceptance of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Primary Health Care/organization & administration , Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Telemedicine/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Quebec , SARS-CoV-2
10.
BMJ Open ; 11(9): e048785, 2021 09 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406658

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The COVID-19 pandemic has major collateral impacts on mental health. Gambling is among the major public health issues that seems to have been transformed by the pandemic. In the province of Quebec in Canada, gambling is an important leisure activity. About two out of three adults are in Quebec gamble. The objective of this study is to draw a portrait of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on gamblers and to learn more about their experiences during the pandemic in the province of Quebec. METHOD AND ANALYSIS: This study has a sequential explanatory mixed-method design in two phases. The first phase is a cross-sectional online survey with Quebec residents who are 18 years of age or older and have gambled at least once in the previous 12 months. The second phase will be a qualitative study. Semistructured interviews will be conducted with gamblers, family members, addiction counsellors and state representatives selected through purposing sampling. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study is one of the first mixed-methods studies on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on gambling. This study will generate new scientific knowledge on a worrisome public health issue, that is, gambling, and provide a better understanding of the experiences and gambling behaviours of gamblers during the pandemic. This study is funded by the Ministry of Health and Social Services of the Government of Quebec and was approved on 27 October 2020 by the Scientific and Research Ethics Committee of the CIUSSS de l'Estrie-CHUS. This is a 2-year study that will be completed in June 2022.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Gambling , Adolescent , Adult , Canada , Cross-Sectional Studies , Gambling/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics , Quebec/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Dev Behav Pediatr ; 42(7): 532-539, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406509

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate how sociodemographic characteristics and various aspects of parent well-being, family functioning, parent-child relationship, and child characteristics are related to psychological functioning in children aged 9 to 12 years during the COVID-19 lockdown. METHOD: Participants included 144 children aged 9 to 12 years and their parents who lived in the province of Quebec, Canada, during the COVID-19 mandatory lockdown. Parents and children were administered a phone-based survey in which various child, parent, parent-child, and family characteristics were assessed. RESULTS: Results showed that higher internalizing problems in children were related to greater depressive symptoms in parents, lower attachment security to parents, and greater aversion to aloneness in children. Results on externalizing behavior problems showed that more problems were associated with more family dysfunction and chaos and lower attachment security to parents. Finally, results on children's anxiety toward COVID-19 showed that more anxiety was associated with greater parental anxiety toward COVID-19 and more child aversion to aloneness. CONCLUSION: Our findings showed that even during an unusual and stressful context such as a pandemic, proximal variables such as the attachment relationship that have been known to be closely associated with adaptation are significantly related to child psychological functioning. Such observations are important because they highlight factors that may accentuate child vulnerability in times of a pandemic and shed light on potential intervention targets.


Subject(s)
Behavioral Symptoms/psychology , COVID-19 , Child Behavior/psychology , Parent-Child Relations , Parents/psychology , Psychosocial Functioning , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Female , Humans , Male , Object Attachment , Quebec
12.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(9): e26409, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1403380

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The development of a successful COVID-19 control strategy requires a thorough understanding of the trends in geographic and demographic distributions of disease burden. In terms of the estimation of the population prevalence, this includes the crucial process of unravelling the number of patients who remain undiagnosed. OBJECTIVE: This study estimates the period prevalence of COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, and the proportion of the infected population that remained undiagnosed in the Canadian provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. METHODS: A model-based mathematical framework based on a disease progression and transmission model was developed to estimate the historical prevalence of COVID-19 using provincial-level statistics reporting seroprevalence, diagnoses, and deaths resulting from COVID-19. The framework was applied to three different age cohorts (< 30; 30-69; and ≥70 years) in each of the provinces studied. RESULTS: The estimates of COVID-19 period prevalence between March 1, 2020, and November 30, 2020, were 4.73% (95% CI 4.42%-4.99%) for Quebec, 2.88% (95% CI 2.75%-3.02%) for Ontario, 3.27% (95% CI 2.72%-3.70%) for Alberta, and 2.95% (95% CI 2.77%-3.15%) for British Columbia. Among the cohorts considered in this study, the estimated total number of infections ranged from 2-fold the number of diagnoses (among Quebecers, aged ≥70 years: 26,476/53,549, 49.44%) to 6-fold the number of diagnoses (among British Columbians aged ≥70 years: 3108/18,147, 17.12%). CONCLUSIONS: Our estimates indicate that a high proportion of the population infected between March 1 and November 30, 2020, remained undiagnosed. Knowledge of COVID-19 period prevalence and the undiagnosed population can provide vital evidence that policy makers can consider when planning COVID-19 control interventions and vaccination programs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Undiagnosed Diseases/epidemiology , Adult , Aged , Alberta/epidemiology , British Columbia/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Cohort Studies , Humans , Middle Aged , Models, Theoretical , Ontario/epidemiology , Prevalence , Quebec/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies
15.
Can J Public Health ; 111(6): 912-920, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389876

ABSTRACT

Over the past few months, our fellow citizens have heard more about public health than ever before. The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has shed light on the vital role played by public health for health protection and provided telling evidence about current public health capacity as well as the corrective measures to be taken and milestones to be achieved in the future. To this end, we identify several ways forward to re-empower public health in Québec and thus ensure that it can significantly contribute to population health. In particular, we propose that although reforms must continue to bolster health protection, substantial efforts are required to strengthen surveillance systems, prevention systems, health promotion systems, and accessible, effective, and overarching primary care systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Population Health , Public Health , Data Analysis , Health Promotion , Humans , Leadership , Population Surveillance , Primary Health Care , Quebec/epidemiology
16.
Parkinsonism Relat Disord ; 91: 66-76, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377808

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated the social isolation of the population and the rapid implementation of remote care for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. The objective of this study was to explore the perceived impact of confinement in patients with Parkinson's disease and document the effects of gender and living environment. METHODS: We recruited two cohorts from the Canadian provinces of Québec and Alberta, which differed in the dynamics of COVID-19 spreading at the time of the study, and administered a questionnaire on the perceived effects of confinement on daily living and disease management. RESULTS: The data reveals that approximately half of the patients experienced a change in one or more clinical symptoms, with differences observed between gender (e.g. day-to-day changes in slowness in men, aggravated headaches in women) and geographic location (e.g. increased depression in Alberta but reduced sleep quality in Québec). Furthermore, participants identifying as women or living in Alberta implemented more frequently home or online exercise. Lastly, high levels of satisfaction with phone or video consultations did not translate into a sustained interest to pursue this mode of healthcare. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that COVID-19-related confinement affected Parkinson's disease manifestation and management. Patients also reported varying levels of interest to continue remote care. A number of differences reported in our study were seemingly related to gender and living environment.


Subject(s)
Attitude to Health , COVID-19 , Exercise , Parkinson Disease/therapy , Social Isolation , Telemedicine , Activities of Daily Living , Aged , Alberta , Canada , Cohort Studies , Disease Management , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Parkinson Disease/physiopathology , Parkinson Disease/psychology , Quebec , Residence Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Factors
17.
PLoS Comput Biol ; 17(8): e1009351, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378132

ABSTRACT

Decision-making about pandemic mitigation often relies upon simulation modelling. Models of disease transmission through networks of contacts-between individuals or between population centres-are increasingly used for these purposes. Real-world contact networks are rich in structural features that influence infection transmission, such as tightly-knit local communities that are weakly connected to one another. In this paper, we propose a new flow-based edge-betweenness centrality method for detecting bottleneck edges that connect nodes in contact networks. In particular, we utilize convex optimization formulations based on the idea of diffusion with p-norm network flow. Using simulation models of COVID-19 transmission through real network data at both individual and county levels, we demonstrate that targeting bottleneck edges identified by the proposed method reduces the number of infected cases by up to 10% more than state-of-the-art edge-betweenness methods. Furthermore, the proposed method is orders of magnitude faster than existing methods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Computer Simulation , Models, Biological , Algorithms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Oregon/epidemiology , Pandemics , Quebec/epidemiology , Social Media
18.
J Med Virol ; 93(9): 5333-5338, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363672

ABSTRACT

The accurate laboratory detection of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a crucial element in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing on combined oral and nasopharyngeal swab (ONPS) suffers from several limitations, including the need for qualified personnel, the discomfort caused by invasive nasopharyngeal sample collection, and the possibility of swab and transport media shortage. Testing on saliva would represent an advancement. The aim of this study was to compare the concordance between saliva samples and ONPS for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 on various commercial and laboratory-developed tests (LDT). Individuals were recruited from eight institutions in Quebec, Canada, if they had SARS-CoV-2 RNA detected on a recently collected ONPS, and accepted to provide another ONPS, paired with saliva. Assays available in the different laboratories (Abbott RealTime SARS-CoV-2, Cobas® SARS-CoV-2, Simplexa™ COVID-19 Direct, Allplex™ 2019-nCoV, RIDA®GENE SARS-CoV-2, and an LDT preceded by three different extraction methods) were used to determine the concordance between saliva and ONPS results. Overall, 320 tests were run from a total of 125 saliva and ONPS sample pairs. All assays yielded similar sensitivity when saliva was compared to ONPS, with the exception of one LDT (67% vs. 93%). The mean difference in cycle threshold (∆C t ) was generally (but not significantly) in favor of the ONPS for all nucleic acid amplification tests. The maximum mean ∆​​​​​C t was 2.0, while individual ∆C t varied importantly from -17.5 to 12.4. Saliva seems to be associated with sensitivity similar to ONPS for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 by various assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/standards , COVID-19/diagnosis , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/standards , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/instrumentation , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing/methods , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/instrumentation , Diagnostic Tests, Routine/methods , Humans , Mouth/virology , Nasopharynx/virology , Quebec/epidemiology , Saliva/virology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling/standards
19.
Can J Public Health ; 112(5): 807-817, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350575

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: The Quebec Public Health Institute (INSPQ) was mandated to develop an automated tool for detecting space-time COVID-19 case clusters to assist regional public health authorities in identifying situations that require public health interventions. This article aims to describe the methodology used and to document the main outcomes achieved. METHODS: New COVID-19 cases are supplied by the "Trajectoire de santé publique" information system, geolocated to civic addresses and then aggregated by day and dissemination area. To target community-level clusters, cases identified as residents of congregate living settings are excluded from the cluster detection analysis. Detection is performed using the space-time scan statistic and Poisson statistical model, and implemented in the SaTScan software. Information on detected clusters is disseminated daily via an online interactive mapping interface. RESULTS: The number of clusters detected tracked with the number of new cases. Slightly more than 4900 statistically significant (p ≤ 0.01) space-time clusters were detected over 14 health regions from May to October 2020. The Montréal region was the most affected. CONCLUSION: Considering the objective of timely cluster detection, the use of near-real-time health surveillance data of varying quality over time and by region constitutes an acceptable compromise between timeliness and data quality. This tool serves to supplement the epidemiologic investigations carried out by regional public health authorities for purposes of COVID-19 management and prevention.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Public Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cluster Analysis , Humans , Quebec/epidemiology
20.
Healthc Manage Forum ; 34(5): 256-259, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1338927

ABSTRACT

During the last 20 years, telemedicine has evolved in Quebec despite several barriers. We studied how a university health centre in Montreal implemented a strategy to enhance the use of telemedicine with the deployment of appropriate infrastructures, continuous training, and the use of advanced technologies, before and during the pandemic. COVID-19 accelerated the use of telemedicine by overcoming some pre-existing barriers. However, telemedicine was mainly limited to a distance consultation during the pandemic using telephone calls or videoconference. The future of telemedicine depends on lifting these obstacles. We need to better define telemedicine and in-person medicine to guarantee the quality of medical and professional acts. We propose some strategies to achieve these goals, combining cultural change, continuous training, new technologies to improve quality of care, and a vision of healthcare with telemedicine oriented on value creation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Telemedicine/trends , Humans , Quality of Health Care , Quebec/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
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